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O'Neill Rookie Quest - Andermatt, Switzerland
Wednesday, 8 February 2006
Contest : Rookies Quest
Location: Andermatt, Switzerland
Date: Saturday, 4th of Feb
In the heart of Switzerland : Andermatt. On Friday evening 31 riders gathered to participate in the first qualification heat of the O’Neill Rookies Quest by Swatch. The weather forecast announcing an overcast day for Sunday, Cyril Neri and Nicolas Hale-Woods, informed them that the qualification and final would happen on a single day. Saturday under a bluebird sky the 15 male snowboarders, 9 male skiers and 7 female skiers shared out into four groups spent their whole morning with guides. They rode under the eyes of judges all pro-riders having participated in the Verbier Xtreme and who acted as selectors for the occasion. At the end of the morning the judges gathered to designate the 17 riders that would take part in the afternoon final.
A final that proved that these Rookies could impress the judges. The chosen mountain presented a technical level similar to the Xtreme’s mountain (the infamous Bec des Rosses) but offered low snow coverage and a much shorter distance. Cyril Neri, organizer of the event and snowboard judge: “ What we wanted was to see riders with the right behaviour at the right moment. Most of them have known how to offer us a nice show without putting themselves into danger. Some others have taken too many risks and have been penalized for that reason.”
Amongst the snowboarders, Xavier Jordan the Swiss rider from Martigny showed he was in top form: “I’m happy that these qualifications exist and give young riders the chance to qualify for the Xtreme, I’ve been waiting for that for long ! I’ve spent a lot of time in the mountain during these last two years, my level has improved and I’ve been able to show it to the judges today”.
The French and nearly unknown rider Roch Malnuit stood out by showing at the same time an excellent technique, rapidity and control. André Sommer from Kriechenwil in the canton of Berne chose a very original line and proved all along the day that he deserved to be qualified for the final. In the skiers category, the American from Mammoth Lakes Cory Zila was very confident and did a fluid and quick run. Raphy Gillioz from Isérables (Switzerland) has showed a solid and powerful run and jumped the highest cliff of the day. As for the female skiers, the Italian Giulia Monego attacked the slope and demonstrated that she had an excellent technique and a very nice style, enough to get her qualified without hesitation for the Rookies Quest final in Champéry.
Riders that have won their ticket for the O’Neill Rookies Quest by Swatch final in Champéry, 11-12 Feb :
Male Snowboarders :
- Emilien Badoux (SUI)
- Milon Favre (SUI)
- Xavier Jordan (SUI)
- Roch Malnuit (FRA)
- André Sommer (SUI)
- Nicolas Vaudroz (SUI)
Female Skiers :
- Ane Enderud (NOR)
- Giulia Monego (ITA)
Male Skiers :
- Raphy Gillioz (SUI)
- Jürg Graf (SUI)
- Cory Zila (USA)
But before that, a second qualification heat will take place on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of Feb in Mayrhofen, Austria with 30 other Rookies.